What happens to 'failing' academies?

What happens to 'failing' academies?

We know what the government does with 'failing' schools; turns them into academies.... but what do they do with failing academies?

When Downhills Primary was described as 'failing' it was forced to become an academy, despite massive community and worker opposition, even the headteacher and governors opposed the forced conversion. But Gove et al ignored the workers and parents, the head resigned, the governors were sacked, and Harris Federation, an academy chain took over.

So it was interesting to read this week about Marlowe Academy in Kent, which has failed two Ofsted's in two years. After it first failed it was taken over by a chain, the Academies Education Trust, but now that it has failed again what happens?

They can't turn it into an academy, it already is one. They can't hand it over to a chain like they did recently with a Lincolnshire school, it's already part of one. And noticeably, these 'failing' academies don't make headlines, whereas, the flagship academy, Mossbourne in Hackney is never out of the bloody news, and not a day goes by without Gove or Wilshaw trash-talking the entire body of education workers and saying how shit teachers and state schools are generally.

Now obviously I have no respect for Ofsted, it's rotten to the core, so I don't place any faith in their ratings themselves. I'm simply pointing out the inconsistencies in the the steady march of Ofsted and the academies agenda. We already know academies don't work on the governments own terms, we know they're just as likely if not moreso to provide a standard of education worse than non-academy schools (according to the government's own yardsticks), and yet they're still bulldozing their way through public education and selling it off wholesale to their profit hard-on business mates.

Posted By

Choccy
Apr 3 2012 21:59

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  • We already know academies don't work on the governments own terms, we know they're just as likely if not moreso to provide a standard of education worse than non-academy schools (according to the government's own yardsticks).

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Comments

Steven.
Apr 4 2012 10:06

What happens to them? My guess is pretty much nothing until the majority of schools are academies, then the government will change how it measures how well a school is performing, and determine that they are much better than before!

Choccy
Apr 4 2012 10:44

It's disturbing, but you're probably spot-on!

jef costello
Apr 4 2012 11:49

This is depressing, although not surprising. And as you've said it completely exposes the fiction that academies are there to raise standards.
We got our pension contribution breakdowns. A colleague next to me said, "oh well it's only 1%" so I pointed out that it wasn't a 1% increase in the amount contribution it was an increase of 1% of your entire salary that was taken. I'm at the bottom of the scale so I saw a 0.6% increase which is still nearly a 10% increase in the amount I will have to pay. Done on a sliding scale to divide us as well, I looked up to see that contributions for those on over 100k had gone up by over 2% and for a second thought that that made sense.

Peter_B
Apr 4 2012 12:54

Marlowe Academy was not "taken over by a chain". An AET team was engaged in September 2011 by the existing governing body to help introduce new measures that would lead to improvements. Ofsted now say (inspection report published this week, 3 April) that the Academy is making "satisfactory progress" in all areas identified for improvement in their previous report. GCSE results in summer 2012 are expected to show significant improvements.

Choccy
Apr 4 2012 13:38

The intervention team replaced the previous senior management team, that IS taking over a school, whether it's temporary or permanent is a moot point, but I will take the minor correction, they are not sponsored by AET, simply managed and run by them now, you seem to think that's an important distinction in terms of indicting the academy agenda. They took over in Sept, it failed a second Ofsted in November, but suspiciously the report has been downplayed and unusually delayed:

"antipating the report's publication following leaks that the trustees were to be criticised. This is indeed the case, and one can only speculate what pressure there has been to soften the harsh criticisms which strike at the heart of the academy principle before a very delayed publication today, after more than four months (the norm between inspection and publication is about a month...)."

It's clear you registered 45 minutes ago to defend AET.

Interesting to note the previous four months and Ofsted full inspection, ie not the monitoring visit have been swept under the carpet:

"A visit to the academy website suggests they are still in denial about the failure, as the front page contains a message from the Board of Trustees calmly informing parents that: "Ofsted Inspectors are conducting a monitoring visit at The Marlowe Academy during 21st and 22nd March. They will observe lessons, look at statistical data, meet the Interim Principal and his team, and talk to groups of teachers and students. They will be looking especially at how The Marlowe Academy has progressed this year. A report should be available by the middle of next week, which will be available to parents";. No mention of the failed OFSTED Report, or the fact that because of the long delay in publishing the Report, this is actually the first routine monitoring of a failed school. (this item was removed earlier today!). "

Arbeiten
Apr 4 2012 13:42

Whats the bet that Peter_B is not a libertarian communist....

Choccy
Apr 4 2012 13:47

It's clear that because schools like this are evidence against the effectiveness of the academy agenda, the publication if the reports was altered, substantially to minimise any opposition to the schools status as an academy. Look at the publication dates in chronological order:

Full inspection performed 12 Oct 2010
published 17 Nov 2010 - one month to publication

Monitoring visit performed 10 May 2011
published 23 May 2011 - two weeks to publication

Full inspection performed 17 Nov 2011
published 27 Mar 2012 - over FOUR MONTHS to publication, note, this criticises the trustee team

Monitoring visit performed 21 Mar 2012 ,
published 2 Apr 2012 - magically just twelve days to publish

It's obvious schools like this are an embarrassment to the academy programme, and it's strategically hushed-down, which is why we won't see to-camera pieces by Wilshaw outside them, whereas every 'failing' non-academy gets shit talked about them, and teachers are pilloried every day in the press.

And it's not like I don't know what's entailed in them, I've been through both types of inspection listed above.

Choccy
Apr 4 2012 13:53

Imagine halting publication for four months just so you could make some changes, do a mini-Ofsted and then say 'huzzah, see academies are great'. Embarrassing, shows how much the government and Ofsted have strategically placed in butchering public education and selling it off to the highest bidder.

gypsy
Apr 4 2012 17:14
Peter_B wrote:
Marlowe Academy was not "taken over by a chain". An AET team was engaged in September 2011 by the existing governing body to help introduce new measures that would lead to improvements. Ofsted now say (inspection report published this week, 3 April) that the Academy is making "satisfactory progress" in all areas identified for improvement in their previous report. GCSE results in summer 2012 are expected to show significant improvements.

Hope the AET team get kicked outta Ramsgate. Utter scum.